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Advancing healthcare policy

The INN, a drug's real name

Promoting the use of international nonproprietary names (INNs): leaflets from the Medicines in Europe Forum to distribute

INNThe Medicines in Europe Forum’s leaflets explain why international nonproprietary names are key to ensuring correct use of drugs. Each leaflet illustrates a particular situation in which medications are used.

The Fédération nationale de la mutualité française, the Union fédérale des consommateurs Que Choisir and the Association Mieux Prescrire, all members of the Medicines in Europe Forum, launched a public information campaign in October 2005 in order to promote INN use. 

All of the leaflets from the campaign are freely available, and can be downloaded and distributed to the public in pharmacies, doctors’ offices, etc.

Nicole would like to understand the INN system
The INN is clearer and less confusing
Leaflet n°1 (October 2005)
> Download (pdf, 124 Ko)

Three doses of the same drug: too much for Julieta!
Using INN reduces the risk of overdose
Leaflet n°2 (October 2005)
> Download (pdf, 141 Ko)

A holiday trip ends in hospital
The INN: one drug, one name, everywhere in the world
Leaflet n°3 (November 2005)
> Download (pdf, 43 Ko)

The INN on drug packaging: practical and safe!!
Placing the INN on drug packaging reduces the risk of error
Leaflet n°4 (December 2005)
> Download (pdf, 45 Ko)

Avoiding rechallenge with a contraindicated drug
The INN system helps patients to avoid side effects
Leaflet n°5 (January 2006)
> Download (pdf, 51 Ko)

Fewer drugs make for a safer home medicine cabinet
The INN system reduces the risk of confusion
Leaflet n°6 (February 2006)
> Download  (pdf, 54 Ko)

Leo’s spots: due to a drug
The INN helps to prevent allergic drug reactions
Leaflet n°7 (March 2006)
> Download (pdf, 47 Ko)

Identifying the INN on drug packaging
Ask your pharmacist to highlight the INN on your medication packaging
Leaflet n°8 (April 2006)
> Download (pdf, 40 Ko)

The generic name is not the same as the INN
The INN is a drug’s true name A generic is a copy of drug
Leaflet n°9 (May 2006)
> Download (pdf, 58 Ko)

Starting treatment without delay
The INN is the only reliable way of identifying a drug
Leaflet n°10 (June 2006)
> Download (pdf, 49 Ko)
Non informative brand names sometimes hide combinations of several drugs
With the INN system you know exactly what drug(s) you’re taking!
Leaflet n°11 (July 2006)
> Download (pdf, 55 Ko)

©Medicines in Europe Forum November 2014